The Ninth Amendment Sets The Record Straight On Those Who Overplay The Second Amendment And Any Other Specific Amendment

While even I — who own three guns — admitted that the Second Amendment sort of implies that law-biding citizens have the right to own a basic firearm for protection, that was not the foremost intent of the second Amendment. It was mainly meant for the protection of the individual states and the nation.

The founding fathers neither wanted nor did they believe that the emerging nation of the United States could afford a standing army. Having a locally armed populace to call upon on occasions of military emergence was the most practical solution. Thus the Second Amendment, which in point of fact calls for a “well regulated militia. “

Indeed, the Ninth Amendment has the purpose of putting the brakes on those who would use one particular right to overrun the rights of others in their “pursuit of life, liberty and happiness.” In others words the right to own a weapon does not necessarily extend to the right of private (non military) person to own a firearm capable of mass murder.

The following is a clarification by St. Steven in his medium response to me concerning the Ninth Amendment:

“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

This is quite simple, in the present context. Just consider the words “deny or disparage,” and then consider: 1. The 1st amendment, which protects the right to peaceably assemble, and 2. the most famous sentence from the Declaration Of Independence, which states, as inalienable, the rights of

“…life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Clearly, the right to life has been denied to many by those with guns in general. As you say, this is arguable concerning gun ownership, in general.

BUT —

An assault rifle with a large magazine of high-velocity bullets has no purpose that cannot be met with a bolt-action 30 caliber hunting rifle, EXCEPT to maximize casualties when firing at at multiple targets.

Clearly, these weapons are an inarguable and direct threat to those who peaceably assemble, and have no other purpose.

But further, I can, and it is not arguable, say that I have a right to send my children to a school without seeing the assemblage of people as a target for would-be mass shooters. I can say unequivocally that I have a right to attend a movie, or concert, or walk in public, without being surrounded by unknown numbers of people who are allowed to carry lethal weapons with little or no regulation, and with little or no training, skills, or self-control. The current state of gun laws and regulations (of which there are virtually none) obviously creates a clear and present threat of lethal violence, and/or lethal accidents, that goes beyond what many reasonable people consider acceptable.

This threat is not theoretical — it has become manifest to a disturbing extent. Again, it is clear, and present, and many reasonable people feel that it is denying us the right to be alive, to be at liberty, to assemble peaceably, and to pursue happiness without fear of instant death at the hands of a murderer, or an idiot.

We accept this because of the constant din of “2nd amendment!!”

But this din, and the entire stance of the NRA, clearly disparages and all too often denies the rest of us these very important and valuable rights. Just because these rights are not enumerated in their very own amendments does not make them subordinate to the 2nd Amendment, and the 9th Amendment was created explicitly for this reason! The 2nd Amendment should not be construed to deny or disparage the right to regulate the keeping and bearing of arms, a right, which is retained by me, and millions of other Americans.

In short: My right to live in a society where gun ownership requires a showing of sufficient responsibility, and where gun distribution thus requires an acceptance of a level of accountability equal to the risk, is just as real and important, and as Constitutionally protected, as the right to keep and bear arms — especially when one considers the 9th Amendment, and the first 3 words of the 2nd Amendment:

“A well-regulated….”

I suppose one might call the Ninth Amendment the common sense Amendment. Thanks St. Steven for you clarification.

Jim Ridgway, Jr. military writer — author of the American Civil War classic, “Apprentice Killers: The War of Lincoln and Davis.” Christmas gift, yes!

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